Rajesh Bhushan
Rajesh BhushanIANS (File photo)

India will proactively help countries who want to use CO-WIN Vaccination Management System: Health Secretary

New Delhi, January 6, 2021

Terming the CO-WIN Vaccination Management System, which is made in India, as a public health good, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Government would proactively help the countries who may want to use it.

"CO-WIN Vaccination Management System, which is made in India for the world, is a public health good. Government of India will proactively help the countries who may want to use it," Bhushan said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

In the wake of Drugs Controller General of India's approval for two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, for emergency use, Bhushan spoke about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, a digitised platform being developed for the roll-out of the vaccine.

He explained in detail about the existing logistics management involved and to be adopted in the vaccination chain. The vaccine will be transported under a refrigerated condition and digitally tracked during transit from the manufacturer to primary vaccine store to State vaccine store to District vaccine store to the Primary Health Centre.

"Manufacturers will first transport the vaccines to the four Primary Vaccine Stores, at Karnal, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai; from there it is transported in bulk to the 37 State Vaccine Stores for further dissemination. There are temperature trackers inside all Primary Vaccine Stores, State Vaccine Stores & District Vaccine Stores and information is uploaded on a real-time basis about the temperature inside the facility on to a central server," he added.

Once the vaccine reaches the Sub centre Session Site, there is a requirement for beneficiary registration, based on which District Magistrate can allocate the session based on the requirements. "There is no need for beneficiary registration of healthcare and frontline workers as their data will be taken from a bulk database that has been populated onto the CO-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System," he added.

The session allocation, details of vaccination to the beneficiary, information about the next dose will be captured and communicated digitally. "CO - WIN will also give permission to create a Unique Health ID. After both doses, a QR code certificate will also be generated which can be stored on Government's DigiLocker app," he added.

In case of any adverse effect following immunisation, there is a provision for real-time reporting. Other features include SMS in 12 languages, 24X7 helpline, ChatBot assistance etc. As of now, more than 90,000 users have been trained in more than 700 districts.

About the pandemic situation, he said, "The country is witnessing less than 2.5 lakh active COVID cases after six months. Among the total active cases, only 44% of cases are in hospital whereas 56% of cases are in home isolation as they are very mild/asymptomatic cases. This indicates that the overall burden on the health care structure in the country has declined appreciably."

The daily number of COVID deaths was less than 300 for 11 consecutive days and the Daily Positivity Rate remains below 3%. While speaking about COVID conditions across the world he pointed out that there were more than 50 deaths per million in other countries during the last 7 days whereas it was only one in India.

During the briefing, DG, ICMR Prof (Dr) Balram Bhargava said, "Safety, efficacy, immunogenicity are required for approval of a vaccine in a non-emergency situation. Existing pandemic situations with high mortality, available science and a lack of definite treatment are considered by the SEC for accelerated approval. Immunogenicity data generated through Phase II trial serves as a surrogate for efficacy."

Member, Health, NITI Aayog, Dr VK Paul said, "The year 2021 has begun with optimism and hope. The number of new cases is declining which shows a positive trend". He also mentioned that a fourth vaccine was going into Phase III trials. While speaking about the mutant virus he said, "None of the mutations has challenged the existing vaccines."

Dr Paul also pointed about the recognition from across the world including WHO, for India's vaccination programme. "The world has acknowledged the development in this country and has saluted the achievement of our scientists," he added.

Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Renu Swarup spoke about the preparations in addressing the SARS-CoV-2 variant which has been identified in the UK. “The Consortium is sequencing RNA samples from all regions of India from November 2020 to screen for variants. Also, it is analysed for the presence of UK-VOC mutations and other variants among the SARS-CoV-2 sequences done at 10 different centres across India,” she said.


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